Positive Environment News

Spanish Order Higher Fences to Protect Rare Lynx

Date: 12-Feb-07
Country: SPAIN
Author: Sonya Dowsett

Eight Iberian lynx, the most endangered cat in the world, died on the roads in Spain last year, according to figures from environmental group Ecologists in Action.

The fences will replace old ones that the lynx could jump over and will be buried half a metre underground to prevent the cats from burrowing under them.

"When the lynx can't jump it digs," Silvio Moral, a spokesman for the Andalusian local government said. "It's still a cat and it does what cats do."

The nocturnal Iberian lynx was once found all over the Iberian peninsula, but numbers have declined rapidly over the past 150 years.

With only around 100 cats left in and around Donana National Park, environmentalists fear the animal could be the first big cat species to become extinct since the sabre-toothed tiger disappeared 10,000 years ago.

The European Commission warned Spain in October that a road project in the area of the Donana park in the southern Andalusian region would hurt the habitat of the lynx.

The construction will also include more small tunnels under the road to allow the lynx to roam across its territory without putting its life at risk.

© Thomson Reuters 2007 All rights reserved

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